100s of titles, one news app for just $10 a month.
Dive Deeper:
Labor, Liberals fight over policy costings
Labor has hit back at government claims it is failing to fund its election policies, dismissing the accusation as a…
What ABC readers are asking us about the 2022 federal election
We asked ABC readers what they wanted to know about the federal election and received more than 7,000 submissions. Here…
Former high commissioner attempts to confront PM on campaign trail – as it happened
This blog is now closed
Liberal MP Fiona Martin accuses Labor opponent Sally Sitou of 'desperate political games' over radio stoush
Liberal MP Fiona Martin accuses her Labor opponent in the Sydney seat of Reid, Sally Sitou, of "desperate political games"…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Labor refuses to list electorates getting new urgent care clinics despite announcing them on social media
The party is refusing to list the electorates benefiting from of one of its centrepiece health commitments, despite the party's…
Helen Haines says the current government has gagged debate in parliament more than any government in history. Is that correct?
Independent MP for the seat of Indi, Helen Haines, says the current government has moved to gag debate in parliament…
Get all your news in one place
Latest National news:
Let's get our season back on track: Knights prop David Klemmer
The Knights prop's exclusive weekly column.
Read news from The Economist, FT, Bloomberg and more, with one subscription
Learn More
‘Very unexpected’: Scott Morrison knocks over eight-year-old boy in soccer match
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has accidentally knocked over an eight-year-old boy in front of cameras at a regional Tasmanian soccer…
Prodigal Son Flume Is Coming Back To Aus This Year With His Wonderfully Huge World Tour
He's bringing a bevvy of buddies along for the big whip around the country.
Nail gun shooter accepts self-defence claim unreasonable
The construction company owner had been due to face a three-day contested hearing over the incident.
‘Please tell me he hasn’t gone to hospital’: Morrison the bulldozer knocks over child while playing soccer
Prime minister accidentally crashes into under-8s player Luca Fauvette during a campaign visit to the Devonport City Soccer Club in…
From analysis to good news, read the world’s best news in one place
Not To Be Dramatic But The Club Mix Of The LNP’s ‘Dear Labor’ Ad Needs To Be Deleted From Earth
Who did this?
Collaery set to call on Timorese presidents again
The whistleblowing lawyer hopes to provide further evidence from two former presidents of East Timor, including one who is set…

Labor, Liberals fight over policy costings

By Dominic Giannini

The coalition and Labor have traded barbs about policy costings as an estimated one million Australians will have cast their vote eight days out from the federal election.

Finance Minister Simon Birmingham accused the opposition of being disingenuous on its spending commitments by not having policies independently costed by the Parliamentary Budget Office. 

But his Labor counterpart Katy Gallagher dismissed the claim as another scare campaign.

“We will release our costings in the usual way at the usual time and we will be very clear about the impact on the underlying cash balance,” she told the ABC on Thursday.

“We have been releasing with our policies – whether it be in child care, aged care, uni places, some of our initial measures around community batteries or school upgrades – the costings of those individually.”

Senator Gallagher said it was the usual procedure for governments and oppositions to release their costings during the final week of the election campaign. 

The government released its final costings only days ahead of polling day during the 2016 and 2019 election campaigns, she said. 

“This is normal procedure. It’s done in the final week of the election campaign, usually when a lot of our announcements have been made and those costings are reconciled,” she said.  

Senator Birmingham said voters could already access independent analysis and verification of 22 coalition policies on the Treasury and finance department websites.

“But if they go looking for any Labor policies, they’ll find that no Labor policies have been submitted to treasury and finance or the Parliamentary Budget Office … for analysis, confirmation and publication.”

Senator Birmingham accused the opposition of being “tricky” with its fiscal figures, adding spending would be increased through unannounced agreements with unions and Labor state governments.

“You can see that it’s (Labor frontbencher) Tanya Plibersek and others giving a nod and a wink and saying, ‘Oh, yes, we will do more. We will negotiate, we will give more as the government’,” he said.

“But they’re not saying transparently what the costs of that will be.”

Any final Labor costings also hinge on the coalition’s campaign launch scheduled for Sunday, where new policies are usually announced.

Any announcements could change the overall budget bottom lines for both parties through additional spending, and the opposition’s decision on whether it will match any announced commitments, Labor argues.

Senator Birmingham says the government’s final reconciliation will be made public after the campaign launch, but announced policies had been submitted through government departments for independent assessment.

What is inkl?
The world’s most important news, from 100+ trusted global sources, in one place.
Morning Edition
Your daily
news overview

Morning Edition ensures you start your day well informed.

No paywalls, no clickbait, no ads
Enjoy beautiful reading

Content is only half the story. The world's best news experience is free from distraction: ad-free, clickbait-free, and beautifully designed.

Expert Curation
The news you need to know

Stories are ranked by proprietary algorithms based on importance and curated by real news journalists to ensure that you receive the most important stories as they break.

Dive Deeper:
Labor, Liberals fight over policy costings
Labor has hit back at government claims it is failing to fund its election policies, dismissing the accusation as a…
What ABC readers are asking us about the 2022 federal election
We asked ABC readers what they wanted to know about the federal election and received more than 7,000 submissions. Here…
Former high commissioner attempts to confront PM on campaign trail – as it happened
This blog is now closed
Liberal MP Fiona Martin accuses Labor opponent Sally Sitou of 'desperate political games' over radio stoush
Liberal MP Fiona Martin accuses her Labor opponent in the Sydney seat of Reid, Sally Sitou, of "desperate political games"…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Labor refuses to list electorates getting new urgent care clinics despite announcing them on social media
The party is refusing to list the electorates benefiting from of one of its centrepiece health commitments, despite the party's…
Helen Haines says the current government has gagged debate in parliament more than any government in history. Is that correct?
Independent MP for the seat of Indi, Helen Haines, says the current government has moved to gag debate in parliament…
Get all your news in one place